The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

The Society to Conserve Beeches & Water of Zao (recommended by the Mitsui & Co. Tohoku Office)

Restoring beech forests to the Zao wilderness

Activity grant

Project Description

The beech forests in the hills of Minami Zao were heavily logged for military supplies during the Second World War, and for living needs in the years after the war, and as the uplands are at an elevation of 700m, populations have never recovered. The Society to Conserve Beeches & Water of Zao has been opposing logging since 1986, and has engaged in planting and national trust activities, with 13.7ha of forest currently being cultivated on trust land. This project will involve (1) tree-thinning and pruning by experienced individuals, (2) holding a 25th anniversary event and publishing brochures to expand the organization's base and reach, and (3) buying and installing a heater for the operational base. It is hoped that improved pruning tools will make operations more efficient, and that publishing brochures and improving the operating base will increase supporter numbers.

Climate changePreservation of surface soil and forestsPreservation of biodiversity and ecosystem
Grant year
FY2010 Activity Grants
Grant term
1 year
October 2010 - September 2011
Grant amount
1,000,000 yen
Activity region
Fubozan Fukuokayatsumiya, Shiroishi, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan
Tree planting during a planting event. The trees in the background were planted six years earlier.

Overview of the Organization

Emiko Shirauchi, Director
Emiko Shirauchi, Director
Establishment purpose
Beech forests in Minami Zao were the most logged areas in Miyagi Prefecture during and after the Second World War. The Society to Conserve Beeches & Water of Zao was established in 1986 to protect the few remaining trees and restore forest to barren hillsides in the area.
Main area of activity
Fubozan Fukuokayatsumiya, Shiroishi, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan
121 full members
Annual operating budget
1.06 million yen in 2007, 1.64 million yen in 2008, 940,000 yen in 2009
WEB site
Recent activities
Main activities for restoring beech forests to barren areas:
  • (1) Regular meetings: second sunday of every month - cultivating seedlings in fields, maintaining plantation sites
  • (2) Forest education: fourth sunday of every month - weeding and pruning plantation sites, educational activity
  • (3) Planting events: inviting local people to help plant field-cultivated seedlings on trust land
  • (4) Special events: spring feast, fruit picking, concerts
  • (5) Newsletter: issued to full members every month, supporting members twice a year
  • (6) Occasional: holding nature tours and forest-building lectures on request